Ron DeSantis said if Donald Trump is convicted, the Republican Party should make sure he is not nominated for president – and assured he has faith Americans won’t vote for the ex-president if he’s ultimately sentenced.
A general election with a convicted Trump as the GOP nominee would be ‘fatal’ for the Party, DeSantis said on Thursday.
The Florida Governor signed the Republican National Committee (RNC) pledge to back the eventual 2024 nominee – and said he stands by that despite the ‘crazy’ that has happened since he first signed the pledge.
Trump, who has a massive lead against the rest of the Republicans running for president, has faced a slew of lawsuits and sets of charges since the start of 2023.
At the same time, the ex-president has refused to participate in the primary debates claiming he’s above the events – much to the ire of his competitors.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said it would be ‘fatal’ for the Republican Party if Donald Trump were convicted of a crime and is the GOP nominee for president in 2024. He also railed against ex-president for refusing to debate
‘We are not going to win as Republicans by adopting the strategy that Biden did, being in the basement during the 2020 campaign,’ DeSantis said during an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program Thursday morning.
‘That’s effectively what Donald Trump is doing,’ he alleged. ‘He is refusing to debate.’
DeSantis, along with at least three other Republican candidates, will debate for the third event of the primary contest in Miami, Florida next Wednesday, November 8.
Trump will again skip the debate next week, instead holding a rally at the same time in a different Florida town.
MSNBC host Willie Geist asked DeSantis if he will still support Trump if he’s convicted of a crime.
‘You’re a lawyer. You served in the Navy. You were well-trained at the greatest schools,’ the host noted of the Florida governor. ‘Do you really believe that a man who’s convicted of, say, attempting to overturn the 2020 election, or taking nuclear secrets back to his beach club, do you actually still, as we sit here today, believe that person should be president?’
‘So I signed a pledge, Willie, and that pledge is what it is,’ DeSantis conceded.
‘Now, do I think somebody under those circumstances could get elected president? The answer is no,’ he added. ‘That will not happen. I think that Republican voters will understand that as we get closer to voting.’
He said, however, if Trump were to be elected the GOP nominee and then becomes convicted, it would be detrimental in the 2024 general election, and said the RNC should look into putting someone else up in that instance.
Trump has faced a series of lawsuits and sets of legal charges since the start of 2023 that are set to continue through the year and into the next. However, the ex-president is still the far frontrunner in the 2024 presidential primary election
‘It would be fatal in a general election, and I don’t think the party should – should nominate [Trump] in that situation,’ he said.
Trump still has a commanding poll lead ahead of all others still in the running for the 2024 nomination.
Gov. DeSantis long stood in second place – but is now dipping and sometimes even falling behind some of his competitors both in national polls and those taken among voters in early primary states.
‘I’m participating in this process. I’ve got the plan to win. We’re going to win,’ DeSantis assured.
‘At the same time, it’s like you can’t just take your ball and go home,’ he added. ‘You can’t out of the one side of your mouth say, ‘The country’s in decline, Biden is failing,’ and then on the other hand say, you know, ‘I’m just going to pout if things don’t go my way.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk